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View Full Version : Can you all help an old friend? Spelling woes



Nakia
09-13-2009, 09:31 PM
I don't really post much here anymore, but I really need help. I know I can depend on my FIAR friends!

I think spelling is going to kill us. We started with R&S spelling in 2nd grade, but I didn't like the "memorize a list of words for a test" feel of it. So last year for 3rd grade, we did AAS level one and most of level two. We just finished level two, and my child still can't spell. She can sure recite the rules for spelling though. That is the part that is making me nuts. She isn't implementing the rules, and often can't decide which vowels to use. Also she often gets the letters in the word right, but in the wrong order.

Some examples: This week she spelled loud l-o-u-n-d. I just asked her to spell beginning and she said b-e-i-g-n-i-n-g. ARGH!!!!!

I am feeling crazy. I had intended to move on to AAS level three when we start back to school in a week (after our break), but I don't even want to. The thing is she reads so well, like a 7th or 8th grade level. The other thing is I am a great natural speller, so I am having a bit of difficulty with trying to teach her to spell. I need help!!! I don't know whether to keep on with AAS or to switch to something else. AAS is teacher-intensive (which I don't really mind, if it would work) and time-consuming. If it's not going to work, it is just going to irritate me to spend so much time on it, KWIM? I don't know if it is something that will come with more practice. I am also sure to help her correct words she spells wrong in her writing, and explain the spelling to her. Should I just hang in there with AAS and correcting her mistakes with writing?


Out of curiosity, I did a quick little placement test for Sequential Spelling (someone recommended it here recently) and she needs to start at level one according to that. EEEKKK! Of course, I don't know much about that program at all, so I'm not really considering it right now, I was just wondering.

Please help me help this child. I have a brother who is so smart, but cannot spell to save his life. He is a police officer, and it has really hurt him in having to write reports and things like that. Not to mention, it is very embarrassing at times for him. I don't want that for Anna.
Thanks for any advice.

TonyaP
09-13-2009, 09:53 PM
Level 1 of Sequential Spelling covers some pretty sophisticated words, it wouldn't be unusual for a 4th grader to be using it, IMO. We did a little with it last year in 2nd, DS can do the words when we are consistently using the program, but forgets how to spell them over time. He also reverses letters or totally misguesses- a problem with his reading as well.

I do like Sequential Spelling better than the "memorized list" system though. Right now I am having him do copy work and as he writes the words I am discussing how it is spelled and why. (i.e. If he's writing "praise," I'll say, "The 'i' is making the 'a' say it's name, there's an 'e' also so it doesn't exactly follow the rules." Nothing seems to follow the rules, but I'm hoping to plant some memories that will help him later. ;)

Did you see the sample lessons on the SS website? http://www.avko.org/sequentialspellingsample.html

Kendall in GA
09-13-2009, 09:57 PM
My little guy is a terrible speller. One thing that really helps him is to annunciate his words s-l-o-w-l-y and spell them with letter tiles. (We use Bananagrams tiles.) I don't know what it is about the letter tiles; but, he does MUCH better with those when learning to spell v. paper or oral spelling. Perhaps you should give letter tiles a try!

(Btw, I'm like your brother...I'm a horrible speller! You might want to recommend that he get a Franklin handheld electronic dictionary for work. :thumb: )

Nakia
09-13-2009, 10:01 PM
My little guy is a terrible speller. One thing that really helps him is to annunciate his words s-l-o-w-l-y and spell them with letter tiles. (We use Bananagrams tiles.) I don't know what it is about the letter tiles; but, he does MUCH better with those when learning to spell v. paper or oral spelling. Perhaps you should give letter tiles a try!

(Btw, I'm like your brother...I'm a horrible speller! You might want to recommend that he get a Franklin handheld electronic dictionary for work. :thumb: )

Kendall,
AAS uses tiles. She does fine with the tiles and writing on pen and paper at the time. And like I said, she knows the rules better than I do. But when she starts writing something, it just goes to pieces. :unsure:

I will definitely tell my brother about that electronic dictionary. Is is small enough for him to stick in his pocket? Thanks!

Nakia
09-13-2009, 10:01 PM
Level 1 of Sequential Spelling covers some pretty sophisticated words, it wouldn't be unusual for a 4th grader to be using it, IMO. We did a little with it last year in 2nd, DS can do the words when we are consistently using the program, but forgets how to spell them over time. He also reverses letters or totally misguesses- a problem with his reading as well.

I do like Sequential Spelling better than the "memorized list" system though. Right now I am having him do copy work and as he writes the words I am discussing how it is spelled and why. (i.e. If he's writing "praise," I'll say, "The 'i' is making the 'a' say it's name, there's an 'e' also so it doesn't exactly follow the rules." Nothing seems to follow the rules, but I'm hoping to plant some memories that will help him later. ;)

Did you see the sample lessons on the SS website? http://www.avko.org/sequentialspellingsample.html

Thanks Tonya. I did see the samples, and it looks good. I think I will order level one and see how it goes. The price is definitely right!

Nancy Ann
09-13-2009, 11:01 PM
I suggest sequential spelling for you as well. Sequential spelling is about listening to the words and it sounds like that is what she needs. I think she will really start to hear the words and the rhyme of them. Like you said, she knows all the rules and a memorization list is not helpful like you had in R&S. I am sorry you have to start with level 1 but I think it's worth a shot. It may not take very long...maybe it will just click.

Jeni
09-14-2009, 09:18 AM
Here's a recent thread (http://www.fiarhq.com/forum/showthread.php?t=65069) where I listed some example words from Sequential Spelling 1-4.

Sequential Spelling doesn't start with typical easy words and build to harder ones in later books. In book one for example one lesson you'll have "be", in the next you'll have "begin", next is "beginner", then "beginners", then "beginning". All of these words are within the first week of SS1. There are plenty of easy words to build their confidence but it also challenges them from the first few lessons to build big words from the little words they already know.

Also you can go through several books in one year. Doing 2 lists per day (very doable for the average 4th grader) it will take 90 days to get through one Sequential Spelling book. So you would be doing 2 books per year (assuming 180 day school year). If you do 3 or 4 lists per day (4 lists a day was pushing it for my 4th grader, we had to back down back to 2 lists a day for now) you could go faster. If she could keep up with 4 lists a day, you could finish the series in 2 school years. You could even use one list from book 1 and one list from book 2 each day. Or one list each from books 1-4 each day. ;)<input id="gwProxy" type="hidden"><!--Session data--><input onclick="jsCall();" id="jsProxy" type="hidden">

Nakia
09-14-2009, 09:20 AM
I suggest sequential spelling for you as well. Sequential spelling is about listening to the words and it sounds like that is what she needs. I think she will really start to hear the words and the rhyme of them. Like you said, she knows all the rules and a memorization list is not helpful like you had in R&S. I am sorry you have to start with level 1 but I think it's worth a shot. It may not take very long...maybe it will just click.


Here's a recent thread (http://www.fiarhq.com/forum/showthread.php?t=65069) where I listed some example words from Sequential Spelling 1-4.

Sequential Spelling doesn't start with typical easy words and build to harder ones in later books. In book one for example one lesson you'll have "be", in the next you'll have "begin", next is "beginner", then "beginners", then "beginning". All of these words are within the first week of SS1. There are plenty of easy words to build their confidence but it also challenges them from the first few lessons to build big words from the little words they already know.

Also you can go through several books in one year. Doing 2 lists per day (very doable for the average 4th grader) it will take 90 days to get through one Sequential Spelling book. So you would be doing 2 books per year (assuming 180 day school year). If you do 3 or 4 lists per day (4 lists a day was pushing it for my 4th grader, we had to back down back to 2 lists a day for now) you could go faster. If she could keep up with 4 lists a day, you could finish the series in 2 school years. You could even use one list from book 1 and one list from book 2 each day. Or one list each from books 1-4 each day. ;)<input id="gwProxy" type="hidden"><!--Session data--><input onclick="jsCall();" id="jsProxy" type="hidden">

Thank you both. I think we will go ahead and order book one.

Melissa Crabtree
09-14-2009, 10:02 AM
What is her primary way of learning?? I'd be sure to involve practice using that mode... if she's a visual learner, do flashcards so she can SEE the words. If she's an auditory learner, let he use a pvc phonics phone to say them to herself over and over again. KWIM?? We don't do spelling here, but I've heard a lot of good things about sequential spelling as well.

Nakia
09-14-2009, 12:33 PM
What is her primary way of learning?? I'd be sure to involve practice using that mode... if she's a visual learner, do flashcards so she can SEE the words. If she's an auditory learner, let he use a pvc phonics phone to say them to herself over and over again. KWIM?? We don't do spelling here, but I've heard a lot of good things about sequential spelling as well.

I am pretty sure she is a visual learner. She has picked the spelling skills she has from reading. I don't think AAS has helped a bit. :unsure:

Julie in AZ
09-14-2009, 02:35 PM
Nakia, my ds can't spell either, I hear ya. And like you we've tried AAS one and two. I even own Sequential Spelling.

Julie Y recommended The Phonetic Zoo (http://www.excellenceinwriting.com/index.php?q=catalog/spelling-1). We started today so I can't officially "recommended" it, but my ds actually liked it. :eek:

The program teaches spelling rules and is mostly self-taught using headphones and a CD player. It came with an instructional DVD which my ds enjoyed watching with me.

I saw that you think your dd is a visual learner. One thing I like about this program is that students practice spelling the words everyday AND writes the correct form of the word right next to it as they self check.

ETA: Well, it would help if I read the whole thread. I hope Sequential Spelling is a great fit!